El Monte City School District Proudly Honors It’s Own

by Arlene Bury

El Monte

The November El Monte City School District board meeting started off with Dr. Maribel Garcia proudly recognizing four EMCSD schools. A large crowd of parents, teachers and staffs were on hand to join in the celebration complete with platters of colorful fresh fruit and vegetables.

The first school to be honored was Rio Hondo. In 2011, Rio Hondo was awarded the Gold standard by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The school was also recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Clinton. Last year, Chelsea Clinton visited Rio Hondo to recognize their efforts to bring parents, school staff, and students together to turn campuses into healthy places. Students of the Rio Hondo Health Council recently met with Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer to discuss student health issues.

Dr. Garcia continued the recognition ceremony with Cleminson School. Cleminson was recognized in 2012 as a Gold school for championing healthy lifestyles for students, families, teachers and staff. Principal, Dr. Lillian Prince, correlated much of the school’s success to an awareness of healthier options when it comes to food choices and healthier lifestyles. Cleminson continues to celebrate academic success, with an 11 point growth on the Annual Performance Index (API) last year bringing their API to 853. Cleminson has also been recognized as a Title I Academic Achievement School and boasts outstanding attendance.

“The most recent addition to the Gold family is Wilkerson School”, Dr. Garcia went on to say. Last month, Principal Juan Munoz traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas to accept the Gold award on behalf of Wilkerson and had the opportunity to meet President Bill Clinton. Wilkerson’s attention to a healthier student body is reflected in their outstanding growth as measured by the API and AYP. Not only did Wilkerson exit Program Improvement a year ago, but they continue to add to their API, bringing them to 818 with a 93 point gain in the last three years.

The recognition ceremony concluded with Shirpser School. Shirpser was honored for their 32 point growth on the State’s API. Dr. Garcia said, “This is an outstanding leap that deserves recognition and celebration. A growth of this caliber represents an examination and modification of the systems in place for learning.”

The school board and Dr. Garcia presented all four schools with a colorful banner to hang at their school proudly announcing their respective achievements.

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